The long-term financial challenges faced by many in our local communities mean that every year some whānau miss out on food over Christmas. 2021 was no different except that this year, the demand was accentuated by the presence of COVID.
Leading up to Christmas 2021, Visionwest, in association with Glen Eden Baptist Church and with partnering support from the Auckland City Mission, ran Christmas From The Heart.
Between Tuesday 14 December and Wednesday 22 December, local whānau who were finding things tough leading up to Christmas were encouraged to register with Visionwest to receive food support. This support included essential food items, food to enable a special Christmas dinner, and gifts for children.
In all, parcels were given out to 1,313 families. This meant 6,169 people (2,845 adults and 3,334 children) were able to enjoy a joyful Christmas Day that they may otherwise have missed out on.
The link below will enable you to read the full Christmas From The Heart Report which includes some insights from the event and reflections on how financial challenges are affecting our communities. In part, the report states,
The feedback from the report shows that the efforts of Visionwest, in partnership with many businesses, donors and community members, are addressing a huge need in the West Auckland community.
Covid-19 meant that Christmas 2021 was especially difficult for some people. It must be noted, however, that for many people, life was already a struggle with Christmas typically being a difficult time of year, financially and in other ways.
Many people who come to Visionwest seeking support throughout the year are living in entrenched poverty and services like those provided by Visionwest can deliver support to address the effects and stress created by these long-term needs. However, to achieve transformative change, the focus needs to shift to the conditions or root causes of poverty that result in large numbers of people requiring support with goods and gifts at Christmas time. It is simply unacceptable that there are people living in our community who cannot afford to feed themselves or their whānau at Christmas or any other time of the year.
Click here to read the full Visionwest Christmas From The Heart 2021 Report.